Reduce Waste At Work
To help your business start or improve a waste reduction and recycling program, Hamilton County provides free technical assistance through Let's Stop Waste. Call 513-946-7732 or email Mary Cropenbaker to learn more about how Let's Stop Waste… At Work can help you reduce waste and save money. Please include your business name and address.
Learn more about Let's Stop Waste… At Work and find information and tools to start and maintain a waste reduction program in the toolkit.
- Learn How Let's Stop Waste...At Work, Works
- Establish a Waste Reduction & Recycling Program at Work
- Find Tips to Reduce and Reuse Waste at Work
- Reduce Wasted Food
- Motivate Employees to Reduce Waste
- Read In The Green Newsletter
- Employee Enrichment Seminars
Hamilton County R3Source works with you and your waste hauler to develop a customized waste reduction plan for your business.
What Your Business Receives
Your business receives:
- Free recycling containers for indoor collection
- Coordination of recycling services with your waste hauler
- Education about waste reduction and recycling for your employees
- A decal advertising that your business recycles
Waste reduction makes good business sense as it often reduces your trash disposal costs. Whether you are just starting a program or looking to improve an existing one, it's always best to start with a plan.
Steps to Start a Successful Waste Reduction & Recycling Program
Steps to start a successful waste reduction and recycling program include:
- Appoint a coordinator(s) and obtain management support
- Understand the type and amount of materials/recyclables generated
- Brainstorm ways to reduce the materials in the waste stream and use reusable and durable products
- Contact your waste hauler about recycling services
- Develop an efficient collection system
- Educate employees and visitors
A Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District representative is available to guide you through each step of this process including providing interior containers, coordination with your waste hauler, and education for employees. You can also view more detailed information on each step of the process by viewing the Establishing a Waste Reduction Program (PDF).
If waste never gets created, then your business never has to pay to dispose of it! In addition to benefitting the bottom line, reducing waste is also the best way to save landfill space and can enhance your sustainability image.
Simple Ways to Start Reducing & Reusing Waste in the Workplace
Here are some simple ways to start reducing and reusing waste in the workplace:
- Maintain an electronic filing system
- Share, review, and edit documents on-screen
- Print double-sided (set this as default)
- Opt to receive emails instead of paper mail or bills
- Refill toner cartridges
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Bring reusable dishes and utensils to the office
Every year in Hamilton County, over 130,000 tons of food is thrown away. Restaurants, food manufacturers, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses in the food industry can fight hunger by reducing wasted food and donating surplus food.
Simple Tips to Get Your Office Started
Some simple tips to get your office started on reducing wasted food include:
- Examine food purchasing policies to reduce excess food purchasing
- Encourage employees to store food properly and take leftovers home
- If you have a cafeteria, implement a trayless system and reduce serving utensil size
- Track the amount of food thrown out to find opportunities to cut back on orders
- Surplus food can also be donated to a local food pantry or shelter. One local option is the Freestore Foodbank which works with 450 local soup kitchens and drop-in centers to distribute donated food. The Foodbank can even pick up surplus food in a refrigerated truck. Simply call 513-482-4536 or visit the Freestore Foodbank website to donate. You can also find a map of other pantries at the Freestore Foodbank website.
Benefits of Food Donation
Food donation has many benefits including:
- Reduce hunger in the community
- Receive a tax benefit from the donation
- Save money on waste disposal costs
- Convey a socially and environmentally responsible public image
In addition, the Good Samaritan Food Law (Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.37) protects food donors from liability. A good faith donor of perishable food fit for human consumption will not be subject to civil damages resulting from the condition of the food.
A successful waste reduction program has the participation and support of employees, managers, and sometimes even customers. However, getting employees to adopt waste reduction behaviors is not always easy. We suggest strategic and consistent communication.
Best Practices for Motivating & Educating Employees
Best practices for motivating and educating employees to reduce waste include:
- Showcase management support for the program
- Involve employees in the decision-making process
- Use creative imaging and signage to draw attention to the program
- Provide motivating and consistent updates about the success of the program
- Offer in-person training
For more details on these best practices, view the Employee Motivation Guide (PDF).
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District provides a quarterly e-newsletter featuring sustainability content and ideas specifically for industry and business. To subscribe, visit the Hamilton County Services Sign Up website.
Are you interested in bringing enrichment programs to your workplace? We offer educational programs typically lasting 45 minutes. Whether it is part of a staff meeting, lunch and learn, or a standalone presentation, we are happy to come out to your location. If you are a member of a club outside of work, these presentations are also available early evenings, Monday through Thursday. A minimum of 12 participants is required for programming and are limited to addresses in Hamilton County.
Save the Food: Learn Tips and Tricks to Reduce Your Grocery Bill
40% of all food produced in the U.S. goes to waste. In addition, the changing habits of Americans these last 20 years have led to a myriad of health issues. This presentation teaches how to prevent food waste. It will discuss proper food storage, identify cultural shifts such as portion distortion, and address the misconceptions behind date labeling of foods. Attendees will leave equipped with information and resources needed to make the most of the food they purchase and understand the true value of food.
Get the Dirt on Backyard Composting
In Hamilton County, almost 25% of what goes into our landfills could be composted. Participants will learn the basics such as how to balance a compost bin, what materials are compostable, and some troubleshooting. Attendees will receive a "Simple Guide to Composting in Your Backyard" booklet, an "I Heart Compost" magnet and the opportunity for a kitchen collector.
Sustainable Management of Resources for a Better Future
In our region, nearly 63% of what we throw in the trash does not need to be landfilled. Landfills are built to protect our environment. They entomb valuable resources and create methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Learn about the inner workings of a landfill and receive tips on how to reduce your impact.